4% of Death Row Inmates Likely Innocent


prisonShudder. A new study estimates that one in every 25 prisoners on death row is innocent. The research, published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, analyses the 1,320 executed defendants since 1977. It also finds that in the past 31 years, 1.6 percent of death sentence recipients have been exonerated and set free.

Its authors notes that the majority of those sentenced to death are commuted to life imprisonment, and therefore don’t factor into the calculation. They write that “the criminal justice system goes to far greater lengths to avoid executing innocent defendants than to prevent them from remaining in prison indefinitely.” Read more at Yahoo! News.

{Andy Heller-Matzav.com Newscenter}


  1. This is one reason why three different rabbis have paskened — without my even asking — that it is asur for a Jew to serve on a jury in a death penalty case in the US. The other reason is that American courts in capital cases don’t even meet the minimal standards the Torah demands of Noachide courts. In particular, they can give defendants a death penalty based on circumstantial evidence rather than eyewitness testimony as required by the gemara in Sanhedrin and by Rambam.

  2. Establishing a system of justice is one of the Seven Mitzvos required of Bnei Noach. When we tolerate what is virtually judicial murder we are jeopardizing our existence as a country.

  3. Rabbi Miller said that the judges that kill the death penalty and also those that let murderers go free are insuring the death of many more innocent people.

    The 4% number is probably baloney. However, it’s impossible to have a perfect system. Killing those that have merited a death penalty verdict is necessary for the safety of society.

  4. The US has a far higher murder rate than many societies which have abandoned the death penalty.

    Furthermore, if the government that we elected kills an innocent person, that is murder, and you and I have blood on our hands. Remember the detective in New York City who was recently proved to have falsified evidence in murder cases? If someone had been executed on false evidence, is that upholding the rule of law? At least the people who were framed can be set free and paid damages. If they had been executed what could have been done? An “imperfect” system is only OK if you and yours are not the ones being victimized.